Sponsor me: effective plays for website funding
Posted June 29, 2009on:
If you wish to get financial support for your website from an organisation, company, brand or government, you will need to create a proposal. Here are some must-haves to include (not neccessarily in this order):
- Your mission: What are you about? What are the aims of what you are doing / your product or service? This is the sales bit.
- Your vision: Be clear about where you feel your organisation is going. This is where you articulate your dream – but don’t be too pie in the sky. It needs to look rational and achievable. Statements about saving the world or overtaking Dyson or Tesco will probably look too over-ambitious.
- Your success: Play up your personal, and organisational successes. What is it about you, and your organisation to date, that stands out, shows willing, demonstrates a likelihood of future success? Linda Mason has said her prior experience in the Sudan helped convince funders for her fantastically successful childcare business in the US.
- Paint a picture: If you have numbers, create graphs (if they have an upward trajectory). Traffic numbers, members, sales, are great to have. Target market, sales forecasts and projections make it look like you have done your homework. Any other diagrams or pictures that show how fantastic your idea is will also help your proposal to look interesting, but be sure they are relevant. There is no need to overwhelm your potential donor with detailed schematics and web site maps.
- Match your visions: Why would the organisation you are pitching to support you? Find their criteria for project funding, or Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, or previous projects they have backed. Match what you are doing to what they want to achieve and make your common aims clear – tailoring to your target is key.
- Your backers: Who backs you already? If you already have people willing to support you state who they are. People like to think they are part of something safe, or popular – show that if they back you, they stand shoulder to shoulder with giants. That if they dont back you, they are missing out on the party.
- Your offer: What’s in it for them? A piece of the pie? A logo on your home page? A year’s branding of one your most popular sections? A direct communication with your members once every six months? Be careful not to offer spots on your site for adverts that will turn off and away your visitors. But your offer has to be worth it. Give a range of options if you can. Consider including a line in this section which states *final sponsorship packages are negotiable. This implies sponsors cannot expect everything in your list of items, and also gives them an opportunity to tell you what they would like for their money.
Your web sponsorship proposal should draw on, but not be the same as your business plan. It is about someone buying into what you can do for them, rather than buying into your business and what it does. Remember, the 13th Law of power is “When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to their Mercy or Gratitude.”
If you are looking for funding in the UK try these sources and shortlist those most suitable:
- Sunday Times 100 Best Companies
- Superbrands UK
- Directory of Social Change (Social Enterprise funding)